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20 CANCIONES EN INGLÉS DE GRAN IMPACTO INTERNACIONAL

Desde niño me ha gustado escuchar música y como en todo, he sido un degustador súper heterodoxo de toda clase de música. Cuando niño y hasta mi adolescencia mis preferencias se dirigieron hacia la música clásica y entre mis preferidos estuvo (y aún está) Chaikovsky, sobre todo su 6ta. Sinfonía (La Patética).

Sin embargo, nunca me atrajeron Beethoven ni sus coetáneos Haydn y Mozart, aunque sí Rimsky-Korsakov, Sibelius, Khachaturian, Stravinsky, Falla, Shostakovich, etc. La ópera tampoco me atrajo, aunque sí las partes instrumentales de Wagner, Verdi, etc.

Luego la música instrumental ligera y de ahí di un salto y me rompí la cabeza con el rock’n roll (sic).

Hasta ese momento en español, mi lengua nativa, mi música popular preferida era la cantada por Benny Moré, Barbarito Diez, Vicentico Valdés, Lucho Gatica.

Ya más tarde se extendieron a Silvio Rodríguez, de quien fui amigo desde antes que triunfara, los Van Van, Carlos Santana, Carlos Vives, Juan Luis Guerra, Rubén Blades, Marisela Verena, Willi Chirino, etc.

Y desde que el rock’n roll irrumpió en mi vida, la música en inglés fue una de mis preferidas.

Hace poco me di a confeccionar una lista de las 20 canciones cantadas en inglés que a mi juicio habían impactado al mundo o se habían destacado más por alguna razón específica.

Recientemente me di a la tarea de confrontarla con la afamada lista de la revista Rolling Stones y quisiera comunicar mis reflexiones.

En primer término, no existe una verdad absoluta y en toda lista que se haga por quien sea existe un grado de subjetividad inevitable.

Las diferencias entre la lista de Rolling Stones, y la mía son abismales, salvo en la fecha de inicio, que es a partir de los ’50.

En primer lugar hablemos de los puntos de referencia.

El punto de referencia de la Revista
Rolling Stone es doblemente umbilical, no sólo porque mira desde los países productores de esa música, USA y UK, sino porque las consideraciones que parece se toman en cuenta en muchos casos, más bien son consideraciones histórico-políticas de USA.

El punto de referencia mío es externo, el de Cuba, una nación de habla española con mucha influencia de la cultura americana.

En segundo lugar hablemos de los objetivos y criterios de selección.

La revista hizo la selección usando el criterio de 172 músicos, críticos, y personalidades de la industria musical y buscaba seleccionar las mejores canciones y darles un orden en función de la calidad.

Pero… ¿por qué la segunda canción es mejor que la tercera?

Pienso que a partir de determinado nivel en que dos canciones son buenas, no existe una mejor que la otra y es bastante subjetivo el escalonarlas.

He aquí las 20 canciones mejores según la selección publicada en la revista
Rolling Stone:

1 (1965) Like A Rolling Stone Lyrics Bob Dylan
2 (1965) Satisfaction Lyrics Rolling Stones
3 (1971) Imagine Lyrics John Lennon
4 (1971) What's Going On Lyrics Marvin Gaye
5 (1967) Respect Lyrics Aretha Franklin
6 (1966) Good Vibrations Lyrics Beach Boys
7 (1958) Johnny B. Goode Lyrics Chuck Berry
8 (1968) Hey Jude Lyrics Beatles
9 (1991) Smells Like Teen Spirit Lyrics Nirvana
10 (1962) What'd I Say (Live Berlin) Lyrics Ray Charles
11 (1965) My Generation Lyrics Who
12 (1964) A Change Is Gonna Come Lyrics Sam Cooke
13 (1965) Yesterday Lyrics Beatles
14 (1963) Blowin' in The Wind Lyrics Bob Dylan
15 (1979) London Calling Lyrics The Clash
16 (1963) I Want To Hold Your Hand Lyrics Beatles
17 (1967) Purple Haze Lyrics Jimi Hendrix
18 (1955) Maybellene Lyrics Chuck Berry
19 (1956) Hound Dog Lyrics Elvis Presley
20 (1970) Let It Be Lyrics Beatles

Una sospecha:
¿La canción mejor es
Like A Rolling Stone, la segunda está cantada por el grupo Rolling Stones y la revista que auspicia la selección se llama Rolling Stone? ¿En serio?

Mi segundo señalamiento se refiere al sesgo político que deviene de la revista misma, que fue fundada en 1967 y que se dedicaba a la música, la política y la cultura popular.

Debo aclarar que no critico en modo alguno la calidad de ninguna de las canciones seleccionadas. Por ejemplo, la canción de Bob Dylan, por cierto un modelo inspirador de Silvio Rodríguez,
Like a Rolling Stone, es magnífica, pero para quienes el inglés no sea su lengua nativa no tuvo gran impacto, por su duración de 6 minutos y la complejidad de su lenguaje.

El sesgo político comienza desde la segunda canción
Satisfaction que incluye referencias al acto sexual y al comercialismo, y se interpretó como un ataque al orden establecido. Sin embargo, yo incluí esta canción en mi lista, porque tuvo impacto y el contenido no es tan agresivo.

No cabe dudas que
Imagine ha sido una de las grandes canciones, pero también tiene su contenido político, pues plantea un mundo sin países ni religiones.

Yo no pertenezco a ninguna religión, pero estoy convencido de que si faltaran todas el mundo no iba a mejorar y muy probablemente lo contrario, y le tengo terror pánico a un mundo sin países, porque ahora existe la posibilidad de emigrar a algo distinto y lo contrario es la uniformidad. Por otra parte, cuando busco una interpretación de la realidad me busco un ensayista, no un cantante.

Respect se considera una canción feminista; es decir, una canción bandera del movimiento feminista y así ha recibido muchos de sus reconocimientos. Pero es altamente contradictorio que sea la única voz femenina en estas veinte primeras mejores canciones.

Las dos canciones de Chuck Berry son buenas, pero internacionalmente no tuvieron un gran éxito y aquí se esconde una controversia socio-política de USA sobre el papel blancos-negros en el rock’n roll.

La canción de Sam Cooke
A Change Is Gonna Come es una canción símbolo de la lucha durante los ’60 por los derechos civiles de los negros en USA.

La canción de Bob Dylan
Blowin’ in the Wind es una canción protesta que hace preguntas sobre la paz, la guerra y la libertad, aunque la respuesta-título de la canción es bastante impenetrable Soplar en el viento, ambigüedad característica también en muchas canciones de Silvio.

London Calling también tiene algo de ira política.

De la década de los ’50 hay 3 canciones, de los ’60 hay 12, de los ’70 hay 4 y del ’91 sólo 1.

Es decir, que la Revista fue creada en 1967 y la mayoría (12 contra 8) son precisamente de esa década.

No soy músico, no tengo conocimientos especiales sobre el tema, soy un simple amante de la música, que trata de hacer una selección en función de la repercusión de cada una de las canciones y el único orden que le doy es el de la fecha.

El criterio de mi lista se basa en los siguientes puntos:
1-    Se mira desde el punto de vista de una nación de habla hispana con influencia de la cultura americana (USA).
2-    Se tiene en cuenta el grado de éxito popular de la canción como tal.
3-    Se tiene en cuenta el grado de éxito del acompañamiento visual (cine, televisión o vídeo asociado).
4-    Se tiene en cuenta que el texto de la canción se ajuste al género de la misma o que posea calidad destacada y que el contenido no sea político.

Mi lista:

1954 "Rock Around the Clock" Bill Haley
1956 "Hound Dog" Elvis Presley
1957 "Lucille" Little Richard
1965
"Satisfaction" Rolling Stones
1966 "Eleanor Rigby" The Beatles
1967 "Pata Pata" Miriam Makeba.
1976 "Dancing Queen" ABBA
1978 "Stayin' Alive" Bee Gees
1980 "Another One Bites the Dust" Queen.
1981 "Bette Davis Eyes" Kim Carnes.
1983 "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" Cyndi Lauper
1983 "Sweet Dreams" Eurythmics
1984 "Thriller" Michael Jackson.
1984 "Private Dancer" Tina Turner
1985 "Material Girl" Madonna
1985 "Take on Me" A-ha
1995 "Gangsta's Paradise" Coolio featuring L.V.
1998 "Believe" Cher
2006 "Crazy" Gnarls Barkley
2007 "Calabria" Natasja Saad

De los ’50 hay 3, de los ’60 hay 3, de los ’70 hay 2, de los ’80 hay 8, de los ’90 hay 2, de los 2000 hay 2.

Hay 8 mujeres y una banda mixta (ABBA).

Hay cuatro canciones interpretadas por extranjeros no pertenecientes a USA o UK, mientras que en la de Rolling Stone (en los primeros 20) no hay ninguno.

Las tres primeras canciones son las que introdujeron el rock’n roll en el mundo.

Después de
Satisfaction, que junto con Hound dog son las que aparecen en ambas listas, aparece un subjetivismo mío en la canción de los Beatles.

Fui seguidor de la música de este excelente grupo y cualquiera de las cuatro seleccionadas por la revista es casi seguro que fueron más populares que la que seleccioné, pero "Eleanor Rigby" tiene una característica única y se debe recordar que mis gustos musicales empezaron por la música clásica y es que esa canción se toca con una orquesta de cámara, es decir, con sólo cuatro instrumentos de cuerda, y no conozco otro caso de una canción popular tocada en el formato de un conjunto pequeño que se usa en la música clásica. Sospecho que esa canción marcó un punto de inflexión en la carrera de los Beatles. No obstante, es una subjetividad.

En las siguientes la popularidad, los vídeos, como en el caso de
Take on me o "Bette Davis Eyes", o la película como Dangerous Minds ("Gangsta's Paradise"), las letras como en esta misma que canta Coolio, como en "Sweet Dreams" o en Crazy, justifican su estancia en este selecto grupo.

Pero es posible que
Calabria sea otra selección subjetiva mía.

Calabria ha tenido tres versiones, la primera, instrumental, la segunda,
Destination Unknown y la tercera, que es la seleccionada, es un reggae cantada en un inglés al parecer propio de Jamaica por la cantante danesa Natasja Saad, que precisamente perdió la vida en esa isla en un accidente.

De toda la selección esta canción es la que invita más a bailar y copó durante mucho tiempo los clubes de baile.

He aquí mi selección, ustedes tiene la palabra.

DATOS DE WIKIPEDIA (16 de febrero, 2011) DE LAS CANCIONES DE MI SELECCIÓN:

1-1954. "Rock Around the Clock" It was not the first rock and roll record, nor was it the first successful record of the genre (Bill Haley had American chart success with "Crazy Man, Crazy" in 1953, and in 1954, "Shake, Rattle and Roll" reached #1 on the Billboard R&B chart). Haley's recording nevertheless became an anthem for rebellious Fifties youth and is widely considered to be the song that, more than any other, brought rock and roll into mainstream culture around the world. The song is ranked #158 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

2-1956
Hound Dog" The 1956 remake by Elvis Presley is the best-known version; it is his version that is #19 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. "Hound Dog" was also recorded by 5 country singers in 1953 alone, and over 26 times through 1964. From the 1970s onward, the song has appeared, or is heard, as a part of the soundtrack in numerous films, most notably in blockbusters such as American Graffiti, Grease, Forrest Gump, Lilo & Stitch, A Few Good Men, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Hounddog.

3-1957
Lucille" is a 1957 rock and roll song which was one of Little Richard's international hits.

4-1965
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" is a song by English rock band The Rolling Stones released in 1965. It was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and produced by Andrew Loog Oldham. The song is notable for Richards's three-note guitar riff which opens and drives the song, and for the lyrics, which include references to sexual intercourse and a theme of anti-commercialism. The latter in particular caused the song to be "perceived as an attack on the status quo".
The song was first released as a single in the United States in June 1965 and also featured on the American version of Out of Our Heads, released that July. "Satisfaction" was a hit, giving the Stones their first number one in the United States. The song initially played only on pirate radio stations because its lyrics were considered too sexually suggestive. In Britain the single was released in August 1965; it became the Rolling Stones' fourth UK number one. The song is considered to be one of the all-time great rock songs. In 2004 Rolling Stone magazine placed "Satisfaction" in the second spot on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, while in 2006 it was added to the Library of Congress National Recording Registry.

5-1966 "Eleanor Rigby" is a song by The Beatles, simultaneously released on the 1966 album Revolver and on a 45 rpm single. The song was written by Paul McCartney, but credited to Lennon/McCartney. With a double string quartet arrangement by George Martin, and striking lyrics about loneliness, the song continued the transformation of the group from a mainly pop-oriented act to a more experimental studio band.

6-1967 "Pata Pata" is a song by South African singer Miriam Makeba. The song was written by fellow southern African artist Dorothy Masuka and first released by Makeba in 1957 when she still lived in South Africa. The song was released in the United States in 1967 for her studio album of the same name. It was successful on the Billboard Hot 100, and peaked at #12.

7-1976 "Dancing Queen" is a pop song recorded by Swedish pop group ABBA. It was released in August 1976, but was first performed two months earlier, on 18 June 1976, during a Royal Variety Show in Stockholm the evening before the Swedish royal wedding. It was the follow-up single to the hit "Fernando" and is commonly regarded as one of the most successful singles of the 1970s. "Dancing Queen" was written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, and Stig Anderson and is considered by many to be ABBA's signature song, as it reached the number 1 position on popular music charts in 13 countries. Recorded in 1975, it was released on the group's album Arrival the following year and as a single with "That's Me" as the B-side.
In 2009, the British performing rights group Phonographic Performance Limited celebrated its 75th anniversary by listing the 75 songs that have played most in Great Britain on the radio, in clubs and on jukeboxes. "Dancing Queen" was number eight on the list.

8-1977 "Stayin' Alive" is a disco song by the pop group Bee Gees from the Saturday Night Fever motion picture soundtrack. The song was written by the Bee Gees (Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb) and produced by the Bee Gees, Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson. It was released on December 13, 1977, as the second single from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. It is one of their signature songs
The title comes from the Bee Gees song, Stayin' Alive, which was used as the theme song to Saturday Night Fever and is also played during the final scene of Staying Alive.

9-1980 "Another One Bites the Dust" is a song by the English rock band Queen. Written by bass guitarist John Deacon, the song featured on the group's eighth studio album The Game (1980). The song was a worldwide hit, charting one on the United States Billboard Hot 100, number two on the R&B charts and the Disco Top 100, and number seven in the United Kingdom Singles Chart. The song is credited as Queen's best selling single, with sales of over 7 million copies. This version was ranked at number 34 on Billboard's All Time Top 100.

10-1981 "Bette Davis Eyes" is a song made popular by the American singer-songwriter Kim Carnes.
The song was written in 1974 by Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon. DeShannon recorded the song that same year on her album New Arrangement. But it was not until 1981, when Kim Carnes recorded her version of the song, that it became a commercial success.
The Kim Carnes recording of the song spent nine non-consecutive weeks on top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 (interrupted for one week by the "Stars on 45 Medley") and was Billboard's number one single of 1981. The single also peaked at number twenty-six on the dance charts. The song won the Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Record of the Year. The song was also a number one hit in 31 countries, including Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Italy, Norway, Japan, and Brazil, but it achieved more moderate success in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number ten. The music video was directed by Russell Mulcahy.
The song was ranked at number 12 on Billboard's list of the top 100 songs in the first 50 years of the Billboard Hot 100 chart

11-1983 "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" (or simply "Sweet Dreams") is a song by the British pop music duo Eurythmics, written by Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart. It was released as a single in early 1983, and was the title track of their album Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). It is notable for being the song which provided the group with their breakthrough into commercial success and one of their biggest hits. Its striking music video helped to propel the song to number two on the UK singles chart, and number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It was the fourth single released from the Sweet Dreams album in the UK and the first ever single to be released by Eurythmics in the United States.
On Rolling Stone's The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time issue in 2003, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" was ranked number 356 (the group's only song on the list).

12-1983 "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" is a song originally written by Robert Hazard. It was the first major single released by singer Cyndi Lauper as a solo artist. It gained recognition as a feminist anthem, an award-winning video and a worldwide hit. It has been covered on either an album or in live concert by over 30 other artists. It's their biggest hit in the United States at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and their biggest hit on a global scale. The song of the most important released in the 80s.

13-1984 "Thriller" is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It is the seventh and final single from his sixth studio album Thriller. It was released on January 23, 1984 by Epic Records. The song, which has a voice-over rap from actor Vincent Price, had originally been titled "Starlight".
"Thriller" received positive reviews from critics, though the song was outshone by its music video.
"Thriller" was adapted into a highly successful music video, known independently as "Michael Jackson's Thriller". At fourteen minutes the video is substantially longer than the song, which ties together a narrative featuring Jackson and actress Ola Ray in a setting heavily inspired by horror films of the 1950s. In the video's most iconic scene, Jackson leads other actors costumed as zombies in a choreographed dance routine. Though it garnered some criticism for its occult theme and violent imagery, the video was immediately popular and received high critical acclaim, being nominated for six MTV Video Music Awards in 1984 and winning three. In 2009 it was added to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, the first music video ever selected.

14-1984 "Private Dancer" is a hit song recorded by Tina Turner, and written by Mark Knopfler. It is the title track of Tina Turner's most successful album, Private Dancer. The song is viewed from the prospective of a high class prostitute, and it reached number seven on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number three on the US R&B chart. The song had moderate international success, reaching number twenty-six on the UK Singles Chart.

15-1985 "Take on Me" is a song by the Norwegian pop band A-ha. Written by the band members, the song was produced by Alan Tarney for the group's first studio album Hunting High and Low, released in 1985. The song combines synthpop with a varied instrumentation, which includes acoustic guitars, keyboards, drums and synthesizers.
The original "Take on Me" was recorded in 1984, and took three releases to chart in the United Kingdom, reaching number two on the UK Singles Chart in November 1985. In the United States the song reached the top position of the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1985, due in no small part to the wide exposure of its memorable and cutting-edge music video on MTV, directed by Steve Barron. The video features the band in a pencil-sketch animation called rotoscoping combined with live-action. The video won six awards, and was nominated for two others at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards.

16-1985 "Material Girl" is a song by American recording artist Madonna. It was released on January 30, 1985, by Sire Records, as the second single from her second album Like a Virgin. The lyrics identify with materialism, with Madonna asking for a rich and affluent life, rather than romance and relationships. Contemporary and old critics have frequently noted "Material Girl" and "Like a Virgin" as the songs that made Madonna an icon. "Material Girl" was a commercial success, reaching the top-five in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Japan and United Kingdom. It reached the position two of the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, becoming her third top-five single there.
The music video was a mimicry of Marilyn Monroe's performance of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" from the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

17-1995 "Gangsta's Paradise" is a rap song by Coolio featuring L.V. from the movie Dangerous Minds (1995). The song was later released on the albums Gangsta's Paradise and Dangerous Minds soundtrack in 1995. Coolio was awarded a Grammy for the song/album. The song was voted as the best single of the year in The Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics poll.
It sampled the chorus and music of the song "Pastime Paradise" by Stevie Wonder (1976). Wonder performed the song with Coolio and L.V. at the 1995 Billboard Awards.
The song was also listed at number 69 on Billboard's Greatest Songs of All-Time and number one biggest selling single of 1995 on U.S. Billboard. In 2008, it was ranked number 38 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.
In November 1995, the song was featured prominently in the opening montage of "Internal Affairs", a second season episode of the FOX police drama television series New York Undercover

18-1998 "Believe" is a pop song by American singer-actress Cher. It was released in most countries at the end of 1998 by Warner Bros UK., as the first single from her twenty third album, Believe.
It became one of the best-selling singles of all time, and is one of the fewer than thirty all-time singles to have sold 10 million (or more) copies worldwide. It won the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording and was also nominated for Record of the Year.
"Believe" is noted for its deliberately bare-faced use of the Auto-Tune pitch-correction software on the singer's vocals to create a peculiar sound effect, sometimes referred to as the "Cher Effect".
The song debuted at #99 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart for the week of December 19, 1998. It peaked at #1 for the week of March 13, 1999. It stayed at #1 for four weeks.
"Believe" reached #74 on VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of the 90's."

19-2006 "Crazy" is the debut single from Gnarls Barkley, a musical collaboration between Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo Green, and is taken from their 2006 debut album St. Elsewhere. It became a top ten hit throughout Europe, North America and Australia, in the first half of 2006, reaching number one of the single charts in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Canada, New Zealand and other countries.
The song was leaked in late 2005, months before its regular release, and consequently received massive airplay on BBC Radio 1 in the United Kingdom, most notably by radio DJ Zane Lowe, who also used the song in TV ads for his show. When it was finally released in March 2006, it became the first single to top the UK charts on download sales alone. The song remained at number one in the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks (which no other song had achieved in over ten years, and was only surpassed by Rihanna's "Umbrella" in July 2007) before the band and their record company decided to remove the single from UK stores so people would "remember the song fondly and not get sick of it." In spite of this deletion, the song became the UK's best selling single of 2006. Due to continued download sales, it reached a million sales in January 2011.

20-2007 "Calabria" is a house music single by Danish producer Rune. It was co-produced by Rune's half-brother Johannes Torpe and originally released in 2003 by Credence, a sublabel of Parlophone Records.
The track was originally conceived as an instrumental, but in spite of being licensed to several other labels outside Denmark, it received more airplay after Ronnie Milani and Maurizio Nari used the instrumental to create a mash-up with Alex Gaudino and Crystal Waters' "Destination Unknown", matching Rune's instrumental to Waters' vocals. It was released as "Destination Calabria" in 2005 by Rise.
The name "Calabria" is the name of a South-Italian region.
Rune re-released the track once more in 2007, having remixed it with dancehall beats, and adding vocals by Danish reggae singer Natasja Saad. This reggae fusion version has been very successful around the world and gained popularity in the United States in mid-late 2007. It got heavy club play, eventually entering the playlist of major Top-40/Dance radio stations such as Z100 and KTU. It placed at #80 on Z100's top 100 songs of 2007.
In 2008 the song hit the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 at number 17, making it one of the highest peaking reggae fusion songs in 2008. There is also another remix featuring Mims and a Dominican rap remix featuring Dominican artist Punto Rojo.
On January 16, 2008 the song reached number one on Billboard's Hot Dance Airplay chart; this would be the first posthumously charted Number 1 single, as Saad was killed in an automobile accident in June 2007. It reached 17 on the Billboard Hot 100.